MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens may change the look of their power play when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
The Canadiens are trying to avoid being swept in the best-of-7 series. They are 1-for-6 on the power play in the Final.
Defenseman Jeff Petry practiced on Montreal’s first power-play unit Sunday, replacing defenseman Erik Gustafsson, with forwards Corey Perry, Tyler Toffoli, Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki, who scored on the power play in Game 2 against Tampa Bay.
“That’s a unit that I’ve worked with before and I think my injury has gotten better, so it’s given me the ability to shoot the puck better, harder,” Petry said. “So whether that has to do with it, or is it just putting a unit that had worked previously together, that’s something that the coaching staff decided. We got some good reps in this morning and you might get one power play, you might get four, we’ve got to be ready to go on the first one and be sharp, and even if we don’t score, bring momentum. So I think that was why we worked on it this morning.”
Petry has six assists in 18 playoff games, including two on the power play. He scored 15 power-play points (four goals, 11 assists) in 55 regular-season games.
Forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi, like Gustafsson, was also removed from the power play at practice Sunday. The second unit was comprised of defenseman Shea Weber and forwards Eric Staal, Joel Armia, Brendan Gallagher and Josh Anderson.
“I think you can always work on things to get better, and obviously special teams are so important in these playoffs, especially in the finals,” Anderson said. “You want to be able to get momentum and special teams are a big part of that. So I think today was pretty important just to go out there and work on a few things and just get comfortable with the guys on the ice and know what we’re doing so when we get out there for next game we know where each other are and we know how to execute the plays for a big goal.”
The Canadiens were 0-for-1 on the power play in a 6-3 loss in Game 3. They are tied with the New York Islanders for seventh in the playoffs with the man-advantage (20.4 percent).
“I feel that our guys are well aware of how we want to do things 5-on-5,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said. “We’ll have another skate tomorrow morning and we needed to take that time to work on our power play, which sometimes during a round or toward the end of the year was hard to do because we didn’t have time. And if we have two power plays tomorrow, we want to make the most out of them. If we have more, we want to make a difference with that too.”